An Etsy Giveaway!

Happy Monday! It’s a warm sunny day here in Miami–perfect for a little GIVEAWAY from my Etsy shop!

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As many of you know, I opened this shop to help us raise some financial support as we made our move to Little Haiti, Miami to help plant Redemption Church Miami. It really did help us with some of those unexpected expenses that come with moving! Thank you for your business! Now, we hope to begin raising more monthly support to allow Brian to transition from full-time work to full-time ministry over the next year. What has been a tiny creative outlet for me, could become a nice contributor to that financial support we are praying for! So…A GIVEAWAY!

Help to spread the word about the Fill Us Up & Send Us Out shop and enter to win a FREE 8×10 CUSTOM digital print (or any existing print, if you’d prefer that). The custom print can be any bible verse or quote in any color scheme of your choice! Hang it in your home, give it as a gift–lots of possibilities. We’ll work together to make it exactly as you want!

Enter by doing any or all of the following (1 entry per task):
1. Visit my shop and leave a comment on this blog post with your favorite print and either where you would display it in your home or who you would give it to.

2. “Favorite” the Fill Us Up & Send Us Out shop on Etsy!

3. “Like” the Fill Us Up & Send Us Out page on Facebook.

4. SHARE this post on Facebook.

The more tasks you complete, the more chances to win! The giveaway will end at 5 PM on Thursday and the winner will be selected at random and notified on Friday. Happy raffling!

Miami Yourami.

Hi! We’re still here! I haven’t updated in a while about our life in Miami. Actually, my last post about Miami was about how Brian found us a house back in May. So A LOT has happened since then. I do hope to write more consistently now about life in Little Haiti (you know, instead of just writing about my kids) since we’re finally somewhat settled.

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July and August and even September were just about the craziest months I’ve ever lived. I would not advise moving to another state (especially with no secure place to live) 6 weeks after having a second baby. Looneytown. We’re so so thankful for the devoted friends who helped us pack up our belongings week after week before we finally left Louisville on August 12th. Honestly, we were so sad to leave, knowing we were leaving behind some of our greatest friends.

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We arrived in Miami on August 13th, still unsure of where we would be living! Of course we were hoping that we would have closed on our house by that point, but our closing was delayed once again. Were we surprised? Nope. Literally, when we were within hours of Miami, we found out that there was a mission house available for us to stay in–one that is booked nearly a year in advance. Talk about God’s provision! We were disappointed that we had to move our things into storage (instead of into our own home) but so thankful that our family had a place to stay until August 31st if need be.

What we thought would just be a few days in the mission house did turn into weeks when our bank continued to delay the closing on our house. Brian began managing at his new store and the boys and I settled back into a new normal at “home.” Looking back, we needed this time of simplicity and rest to recover from the previous chaotic month. We spent many days at the beach, watching movies, and enjoying some quality time together and in the Word.

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Each week, we were being told the same thing about our house: “we’ll be closing in a few days.” And each week those “few days” would pass. We were finally told our official closing date would be August 31st–our last day in the mission house and the day a tropical storm was projected to hit Miami. So, we would be closing barring any weather that caused the bank to close for the day. Of course! Anyone else see a reoccurring theme here?

We woke on the morning of August 31st to perfectly clear skies! The tropical storm had dissipated and the bank would be open! Praise Jesus. We found out the closing was scheduled for 4 PM, but as 3 PM rolled around, our attorney was still waiting on some last minute documents from the bank to finalize. Our attorney’s office (where the closing would take place) was in Fort Lauderdale, about 45 minutes from the mission house, so we literally had to leave at 3:15 not knowing if we would actually be closing that day or not. We never imagined God would be testing our faith down to the last minutes of this home-buying process, but for sure He was! We found out around 3:40 on our way to Fort Lauderdale that we would be closing at 4. Insane.

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Since that time, we’ve done a little bit of travelling (up north to Orlando) and a whole lot of unpacking. Our house is SO good. I mean, it’s a humble little place–pretty much the opposite of fancy–but it works for us. We can easily grow into it and we have lots of dreams for what it can become one day with some TLC! Lots of TLC.

Our neighborhood is hard. That’s nothing we weren’t expecting, but it’s much more intense than the inner-city neighborhood where we came from (Shelby Park, Louisville). Just the sheer size of it is daunting: 3.5 square miles. 3.5 square miles of families living in poverty, with addiction, and in the face of violence. Just in the past month we have heard of 3 shootings, leaving two high school boys and one man dead. (Cover your ears, mom.) We keep getting the question, “Are you scared to live there?” and our answer is honestly no. But it’s definitely not comfortable. And that’s okay. The people of Little Haiti need the light of Jesus among such darkness. WE need Jesus among such darkness.

Levi and Henry are thriving! We’re finally settling back into our normal routine, while also figuring out our new normal in this new city. The beach has been a place of retreat for us–to get away from the hustle and bustle and just rest. Levi thinks it’s amazing. He also thinks Target is even cooler now that we have to park in a parking garage (I find it more depressing since we need to pay $2 to park in that parking garage). Oh, the little things in life! Levi has shown so much interest in learning Spanish–we love it! He knows several words in Spanish now and asks us for more translations every day. We do the best we can.

Please pray for us and Redemption Church Miami! Pray that we would be bold and that the people of Little Haiti and Miami would visit and be blessed. Pray for our pastor and friend, Jeremiah Taylor, and his wife Lauren, as they press on in leading the church. And pray that we would have many opportunities to meet and build relationships with our neighbors in the coming weeks! We’re so thankful for those of you who are supporting us financially and prayerfully in this season. We’ll be sure to keep you updated!

Henry: Three Months Old

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Today Henry Owen is three months old! He is just the sweetest little thing–we can’t get enough. A lot has changed this month with our little guy. Here’s a recap:

EATING

Henry is still a fast little eater and weighed in at 12 lb 1 oz at his 2-month appointment on 9/3. He has recently started extending some of his cycles to 3.5 hours–usually for one or two cycles of the day. His pediatrician did diagnose him with silent reflux–basically where he’ll try to spit up but then swallow it back down, causing lots of excess acid in his belly. She recommended I try refraining from dairy to see if that might help him. After 3-4 days, he was like a whole new baby! It was amazing! Considerably less crying when going down for naps or bedtime (laying down would wreak havoc on his belly), no more reflux, and he was just much more pleasant to be around. While no dairy is SO hard, I’ve found it is worth it to keep him feeling well!

On that note, this month I’ve found gripe water to be a lifesaver for this boy! After cutting out dairy, he only needs it right at bedtime for the most part. But occasionally he will need a dose during the day as well, to settle down for a nap.

SLEEP

Little guy really caught on to naps this month! I’m still swaddling him, which he seems to like, and have found that he does really well with a light A+A blanket near his face. We turn on the sound machine, sing a short song, and I’ll lay him down with his blanket and paci. He will usually fuss/cry for a couple of minutes (usually once the paci falls out), but for the most part he will go right to sleep as soon as I go in and re-insert his paci. He’ll just nuzzle his face in his blankie–so sweet! For the most part, he’ll sleep 1.5-2 hours without issue.

Nighttime sleep is going really well too. We are still no longer doing the dreamfeed and we are still doing a bottle at bedtime! I hate to pump at 7 PM and then again at 10 PM (I still pump the dreamfeed), so I usually have him nurse at bedtime and then supplement it with whatever he’ll take from the bottle. Most of the time, he’ll at least drink 3 more ounces from the bottle! He had been sleeping 7 PM-3 AM pretty consistently for most of the month, but just last week started extending that. He’ll now sleep from 7 PM to 4 or 5 AM! So we’re getting there! This happened right after wonder week #3, so I’m pretty sure it was all related. It kind of stinks that we’re still waking once in the middle of the night at this point (whereas if he did well with the DF, he’d probably sleep through til 7 AM), but I am really proud of him for sleeping 9-10 hours consistently! And we won’t have to drop the dreamfeed later on, so that’s a nice perk!

WAKETIME

Henry’s able to stay awake for right at 1 hour per cycle now! Sometimes I feel like he could do 1 hr and 15 minutes, but usually his naps are thrown off if I stretch him to that at this point. His first waketime of the day is still a bit of a mystery to me though. That is really his happiest time of day, so his sleep cues are hard to read. From what I can tell, he is still doing better with around 50 minutes of awake time for this first cycle.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

Our big boy is babbling a whole lot these days! It’s so fun to hear him talking to himself across the room while I’m doing something else. Henry has also learned the art of blowing spit bubbles and drooling this month! Levi never drooled much, so this is new to me. He also discovered his hands and LOVES to intertwine his fingers or pull on his shirts. By the end of the day, his onesies are so stretched out and falling off his shoulders because he pulls at them so much. It’s kind of hilarious!

As I mentioned earlier, he has grown to love his blankies. He loves them nestled right up against his face, while he holds onto them. This is so similar to Levi at the same age! Looks like we might have another blankie baby on our hands!

We took a few trips this month–one to Orlando/my parents house and another quick trip to Deerfield Beach. Henry really did wonderfully on both of them! He napped pretty well considering the new environments and stayed consistent in his nighttime sleep. Couldn’t ask for much more than that!

SCHEDULE

Here’s a rough schedule of what our days look like right now:

7:00 AM     Nurse

7:45 AM     Nap

10:00 AM    Nurse

11:00 AM    Nap

1:00 PM    Nurse

2:00 PM    Nap

4:00 PM    Nurse

5:15 PM    Catnap

6:00 PM    Up from catnap and I try to hold off on feeding him

6:30 PM    Nurse, then bottle

7:00 PM    Bedtime

4 or 5 AM   MOTN feeding

We love our Henry baby so much! He has been such a light in our lives during what has been a pretty chaotic month.